Unusual Beings are World’s First Self-Replicating ‘Living Robots’ - Scientists


by Hamna Bano

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In 2020, a team of scientists from the University of Vermont transformed stem cells from a frog (Xenopus laevis) into living creatures called xenobots. They had the ability to move, work collectively and self-heal. At that point in time, computer scientist and roboticist Joshua Bongard from the University of Vermont explained, “These are novel machines. They are neither a traditional robot nor a known species of animal. It's a new class of artifact: a living, programable organism.”


Now, there has been a completely unexpected development of a new form of reproduction exhibited by xenobots. It was discovered that the xenobots gather together and construct an offspring in their mouth. It was then observed that in a few days new xenobots were seen developing and they performed the same as others.

The director of the Allen Discovery Center at the Tufts University said that “these cells have the genome of a frog but freed from becoming tadpoles, they use their collective intelligence, a plasticity, to do something astounding.”

 Reports say that the scientists removed all the frog characteristics from the xenobots, so they are unable to replicate into tadpoles. Artificial intelligence has to be used as the previous design of the xenobots didn't reproduce.

The final shape of the xenobots turned out to be the ditto of the gaming character ‘pac-man’. This pac-man when put in a petri dish started to reproduce astonishingly. This reproduction is only possible in molecules. “This has never happened in an animal or a plant”,  says Kriegman.

This sounds like the beginning of a new Terminator movie and the end of human civilization but the Joshua Bongard clarified that these are just small beings. The world is harmless from them as they are formed by human beings in laboratories and can be easily destroyed.